Archive for July, 2009

« Older Entries | Newer Entries »

Is The Internet Becoming A Giant Flesh-Eating Robot?

[ 1 Comment ]Posted on July 26, 2009 by admin in Technology

Sunday, July 26th, 2009

The human race. It’s what’s for dinner.

Great. Not only does the Internet eat all our time, now it’s going to start eating us. We treat the idea of a self-aware Internet as science fiction that only exists in the form of the Terminator franchise’s Skynet or old 70′s movies like Colossus – The Forbin Project. Personally though, I’ve been saying to friends for a while that the Internet already is self-aware. It’s controlling our time and modifying our behaviour slowly and subtly, by forcing us into social networking, mobile devices, and pornography. Sure. Go ahead and convince yourself that it was your personal volition that turned you into an ADD-afflicted, Facebook-obsessed, Tivo-ing, CrackBerry textaholic, but I’m convinced the Internet is slowly training us to communicate in its preferred mode – text and images. And apparently I’m not too crazy for pondering this line of thought. Two respected scientists in this NewScientist article say that a self-aware Internet may already exist, and there was recently a serious scientific summit addressing the concern that machines may soon outsmart man. Combine this with the fact that military researchers are developing corpse-eating robots (which of course the company involved immediately denied, claiming they’re vegetarians) and you have some pretty scary scenarios brewing, even if they seem a little silly at the moment. Read the rest of this entry »

Green Hornet Generates More Buzz

[ 2 Comments ]Posted on July 25, 2009 by admin in Popular Media

Saturday, July 25th, 2009

Unfortunately not much of it is positive. Will they really be recasting Kato as a non-Asian?

I’ve never been a big fan of comic books or the films based on them, but I’ll be really disappointed if they mishandle the film version of The Green Hornet. As a kid in the sixties, I of course watched shows like Batman, but was much more drawn to things like The Avengers, The Man from U.N.C.L.E., and especially the short-lived Green Hornet. I was in fact convinced that I had some mysterious connection with the show, a belief that was probably fueled by a few things: the fact that my dad drove a 1966 Imperial (the car the show’s Black Beauty was based on), that we had a mysterious Asian student boarding with us (unusual in the sixties) and that I’ve always had a strange connection with the idea that good things come from darkness. Although the show had some of the camp that many other 60′s spy or superhero shows had, it also had a little dark edginess that set it apart. And maybe doomed it to its one-season run. It also had some kick-ass music (yeah, Rimsky-Korsakov can be kick-ass) and was – as you may know – a huge break for Asian talent in the states. Although the central character of the show was supposedly the Britt Reid/Green Hornet figure, we all know the real star was his sidekick Kato, played by martial arts legend Bruce Lee. This is a story element which sadly may be changed in the film. Although the film version is slated for release on July 9, 2010 (my birthday, by the way), the production has had a bumpy ride. Originally Stephen Chow was directing and starring as Kato, now he’s doing neither. It also appears they’re broadening the type as they cast the new Kato. I’m hoping for the best; I really don’t get the casting of Seth Rogen as the Green Hornet, but Michael Gondry is directing, and so far the car looks pretty cool.

Read the rest of this entry »

Did You Take The Red Pill Or The Blue Pill?

[ 1 Comment ]Posted on July 24, 2009 by admin in Politics

Friday, July 24th, 2009

Shirts or skins? Red or blue? Republican or Democrat? Liberal Or conservative? Is life really that simple? Maybe an online quiz can help.

I’m confused. I wish the words liberal and conservative would rediscover their meaning and stop consorting with scoundrels like the Democratic and Republican parties. And I wish we could de-politicize colors. Although it was pretty easy to choose a color in the great red and blue contest of 2008, I think I’m really something more like purple, given what red and blue have come to mean. And purple just seems a little indecisive somehow. But who – if they’re paying attention -  wouldn’t be a little undecided, in a time when both near-socialists like myself and a rabid neo-con like Free Republic’s Jim Robinson joke about the need for revolution, rather than voting. I think I’d fall into the liberal category simply because I don’t want some demented, rapture-driven Ayn Rand capitalist deciding who we can have sex with, or racist nutjobs like the GOP base deciding anything for us. But I can’t say I’m ecstatic with the current administration either. I know that campaigns are poll-driven marketing machines designed to appeal to nebulous but emotional voter values (like mine), but I have to admit I still feel a little suckered by the “Hope & Change” pitch. I see the former fading in a lot of people, and very little of the latter. So rather than continue thinking for myself, which has never done me any good, I decided to submit my indecision to science, and took the Pew Research Typology Test. Give it a try, the results were surprising. So surprising in fact (it pegged me as a Conservative Democrat) that now I’ve given up on science as well. I found this Democratic Loyalty Test much more informative, with questions and choices like: Read the rest of this entry »

80′s One Hit Wonders

[ 5 Comments ]Posted on July 23, 2009 by admin in Music

Thursday, July 23rd, 2009

Was the music & fashion so bad because we did so many drugs, or did we do so many drugs because the music and fashion was so bad?

At last, the “Official” video for
88 Lines About 44 Women.
Rather peculiar, and NGSFW*

I’d completely forgotten about the 80′s song “88 Lines About 44 Women” by The Nails until the other day when the “Official” video (also at left, NGSFW*) appeared on YouTube. I guess it isn’t so odd I’d forget about it; as much as I loved the song back then, I now remember clearly the drug-addled morning that I first heard it. I had just awakened in the San Francisco apartment of some woman I’d met the night before and she thought it really funny to play it under the circumstances. Honestly, I sometimes wonder if there were so many one-hit wonders in the 80′s simply because people were doing so many drugs that they couldn’t remember the bands’ names from release to release. I know that I, for one, remember very little of lasting value from the years 1983-1990, and given our hairstyles, clothing, and musical preferences, probably prefer it this way! But I thought it would be fun to try to recall – without using the Internet or VH-1 as a memory aid – a list of these tunes. By the way, compiling this list made me realize that there’s a previously un-named micro-genre in here somewhere that’s epitomized by tunes like Trio’s Da Da Da, The Flying Lizards’ Money (That’s What I Want), and The Nails’ song featured above. I hereby christen this genre “Clock Rock”. Remember me if that catches on. The list is below, feel free to share your own in the comments…

Read the rest of this entry »

Dick Butkus Was Joe King When He Said Ben Dover & Stan Still

[ Comments Off ]Posted on July 22, 2009 by admin in Lifestyle & Culture

Wednesday, July 22nd, 2009

What’s in a name? A lot, if your parents named you something like Barb Dwyer or Barry Cade, or if the web guys at Experts Exchange buy the domain

Meet Doctor Fear

When I was a kid, I and a friend of mine spent hours thinking up strange names that might actually exist, looking them up in the phone book, and then prank calling them. The best ones we ever came up with in our town were “Otto Graf” and “Iona Appl”. When I had my wisdom teeth extracted, I went to Dr. Fear (I highly recommend him!), who shares an office with Dr. Hitchcock (there are apparently lots of others with awkward names for their profession). Later in life, when I thought about what I would name my kids, I thought that with the last name Gray it might be fun to name them after paint chits. I decided on “Gun Metal” for a boy, and “Ash” for a girl. I’d never do this of course, but I’ve always wondered whether it was cruelty or obliviousness that leads people to give their kids the kinds of names discussed in this BBC News article, or collected in lists like this. And then there are business names and web addresses. I wonder if the web person over at the non-profit “Childrens Laughter” was laughing himself as he bought This kind of thing is a little less surprising when there’s a language barrier, but this list of brand launch mistakes in other countries is still kind of amusing. Have any amusing name stories of your own to share?

« Older Entries | Newer Entries »